This summer we are highlighting our international students in a #TiffinTuesdays, destination TU edition. This week we sat down with Talita Russo who came to us from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
How did you find Tiffin University?
I had recently moved to the United States from Sao Paulo, Brazil and was attending a community college in California when I was recruited by Coach Ana Fantini from Tiffin University.
What is the biggest difference from your lifestyle now, compared to before you came to Tiffin?
The biggest difference in the lifestyle before I came to Tiffin was the atmosphere. I am originally from Sao Paulo, a city with 12 million people. Therefore, my neighborhood back home is bigger than Tiffin. How people interact, act and live in a big city and in a small community is completely different. It makes a huge difference in my day when I walk around campus and people say “good morning,” without knowing who you are. That doesn’t happen in a big city or university.
What are some important aspects of American culture and society that you have learned to enjoy?
There are many important aspects of American culture in my opinion. American’s patriotism amazes me. It is beautiful to see how Americans respect veterans and people in the army. It is nice to see how proud each individual is to be an American. They stick with each other to make America a better place for everyone. Also, I like how polite people are in the U.S. They are always saying “excuse me and I’m sorry.”
What main differences took you longer to adjust to or understand during your experience at Tiffin?
I believe English was my first challenge at Tiffin (laugh). When I first got here I couldn’t speak English very well, so it was hard to understand a classmate or a professor at first. Second, I believe that going from a big city with a lot of things to do, to Tiffin, which is a small town, it took me a while to adapt. Also, it took me a while to understand how the papers were structured, how the professors work and some of the rules when it comes to classroom experience.
What would you like international students to know most importantly about coming to Tiffin University?
Tiffin is going to be their home away from home. They don’t have to be scared to leave home because Tiffin also makes you feel at home.
What has been your biggest achievement while you’ve been at Tiffin?
One of the biggest achievements while at TU it was definitely getting a bachelor’s degree. Coming from a third world country, without knowing a word in English, Tiffin has helped me every single step of the way to successfully cross the stage after four years. The professors and staff were extremely helpful and gave me the guidance I needed to be on the right path. Now, as TU’s Public Relations Specialist for Latin America, my goals are to provide the same experience to every international student who chooses Tiffin University as their second home.